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					Appendix 2

Career case studies of Salford University international
    alumni: supplied for the AGCAS PMI2 project

1. Bas Hollander, Chief executive, Dynamic Logistic Systems (DLS), USA ....................... 2
2. Dimitris Orfanidis, Production and Quality engineer, own business, Technometal
Orfanidis Sons, Greece ....................................................................................................... 4
3. Jordi Femenia Nobell, Senior Acoustic Consultant, APPLUS, Spain ............................. 5
4. Pablo Ibarguengoytia, Research Investigator, IIE Instituto de Investigaciones
Electricas, Mexico ................................................................................................................ 6
5. Flacia Nyamu, Freelance fashion consultant, Kenya ...................................................... 8
6. Joseph Rurangwa, Freelance conference interpreter, Rwanda.................................... 10
7. Sabine Liu, General Manager, UBM Asia Ltd‟s Taiwan Office ..................................... 12
8. Bettina Zingler, Freelance translator and interpreter, Germany.................................... 14
9. Hajah Rosni Hj Yussof, Supervisory Engineer, Radio Television Brunei ..................... 16
10. Juan Bautista Moran, Senior Carrier Technical Manager, Research In Motion, Spain
........................................................................................................................................... 17
11. Daniel Santos Reyes, Head of Postgraduate Studies, Universidad Tecnológica de la
Mixteca, Mexico ................................................................................................................. 19
12. James P. Santos, Professor, Centro Universitário CESMAC, Alagoas, Brazil ........... 21
13. George Natar, Trainer and Compliance Officer, Alpha Insurance Ltd, Cyprus .......... 22
14. Panagiotis Xenos, IT Engineer, Ministry of Public Health, Greece ............................. 24
15. Rami Al-Awartani, Project Manager, Omnix International L.L.C, Jordan .................... 26
16. Reem Akbari, Lecturer and researcher, University of Bahrain. ................................. 28
17. Salha Abdullah, Assistant Professor, King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia ...... 29
18. Sebastian Beyh, Head of Free Space Optics Division, Lunasat, Lebanon ................. 30
19. Ryoko Sasamoto, Lecturer in Japanese, Manchester Metropolitan University .......... 32
20. Gang Cheol Yun, Project Manager for HanmiParsons in Seoul, South Korea ........... 33
21. Zolomphi Nkowani, Lecturer in Law, UCLAN .............................................................. 35
22. Sophie Parron, NGO administrator, Terre des Hommes, France ............................... 36
23. Diedrerik van de Scheur, Strategic Buyer, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Netherlands 38
24. Xia Jing, Post Doctoral Researcher in Health Informatics National Institutes of Health,
United States ..................................................................................................................... 40
25. Mariusz Andreasik, Product Improvement Specialist, at Smart Education Limited,
Poland ................................................................................................................................ 42
26. Tiroyamodimo Mogotlhwane, Lecturer, University of Botswana ................................. 44
27. Xiang Li, Lecturer in Supply chain and logistics, Salford University ........................... 45
28. Maysoon Zahir, Associate Professor, University of Damascus .................................. 47
29. Mary Koh, Secretary, Adecco, Singapore ................................................................... 49
30. Hussein Hijazi, PhD researcher, University of Nottingham ......................................... 50
31. Michelle Paz, Project co-ordinator, Student Life, University of Salford....................... 51
32. Nauman Noor, Principal, Diamond Management Consultants, USA .......................... 53

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                                                                                         1
1. Bas Hollander, Chief executive, Dynamic Logistic Systems (DLS), USA

In 1997, Bas Hollander graduated with a BSc in Modern Languages and
Marketing from the University of Salford. His nationality is Dutch and
American, but Bas‟ country of residence is the USA. He speaks fluent English,
French, German and Dutch. Bas currently manages the North American office
of Dynamic Logistic Systems (DLS). He explains why he chose to study at
Salford University:

“My brother studied in the UK, and I wanted to do that too. My goal was to
study marketing, and I applied to several universities. Salford accepted me as
a foreign student. The university‟s marketing course taught me some basic
principles that I now use to market DLS‟ Order Release Module. I also
regularly use my German and occasionally my French when dealing with
companies in Germany and Quebec. However, the theoretical principles I
learnt are often a little different from reality!

When I graduated from Salford, it was quite difficult finding a job in the UK as
a student who hadn‟t gone through the British school system. It was tough to
compete with the thousands of British applicants for corporate graduate job
programs. It seems they filter based on GCSE and A-level results and if you
can‟t fit that pigeon hole you‟re easily filtered out. I had more success applying
for jobs via recruitment agencies.

Although I attempted to get marketing management jobs in the UK, I found my
first job by chance as a software trainer for a local company called SkillSet Ltd
that needed a fluent Dutch speaker. Via this job I got experience with JD
Edwards ERP software. I then applied and got accepted as a distribution
software consultant with JD Edwards in Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire,
where I met my American wife. In this period, my father started a new
distribution related company called Dynamic Logistic Systems in The
Netherlands. So, in 2001, my wife and I moved to the Netherlands where I
worked for my father‟s company. In 2004, my wife and I decided to move to
the USA where I started DLS‟ North American Office. This is my current job.

The tasks involved in my job are marketing, sales, company management,
purchasing, administration and advertising. I enjoy the sales meetings and

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             2
presentations. I also get a thrill from securing a sale. However, I dislike doing
the mundane corporate administration tasks such as tax applications,
expense reports and accounts payable.

My careers advice to current international students is to use your foreign
language to your advantage when looking for jobs, even if your goal is not to
return to your home country or use your language for your job. It‟s what sets
you apart. Your first job is not going to be your dream job, but use it as a
stepping stone, even if it‟s totally unrelated to where you want to get to. It‟s a
million times easier to search for a job when you‟re employed, because
having a job demonstrates that you are an employable person. Also, work
paid jobs during your university years, even if you don‟t need the cash. It‟ll
look much better on your resume and allows you to compete with other
applicants who have more work experience!

For a successful career in the USA, foreigners will find it hard to get a work
permit or a green card (unless you happen to be married to an American
citizen). The easiest way would probably be to get a job with a U.S. company
in the UK and try to get transferred to a U.S. office. However, it‟s advisable
upon arrival with a work permit to start the application for a green card,
because that can take years. If you want the freedom to move to another job
or want to stay longer than what your work permit allows, you will definitely
need a green card.

If international students/graduates want a career with my company Dynamic
Logistic Systems then I would advise you to be specific with your choice of
university course. We‟d much rather recruit someone who graduates with a
specific skill, who can be useful from day one, than someone with a very
generic degree who may have a fancy title but still needs extensive training.
For instance, we‟d rather hire a good engineer with management aspirations
and put him/her straight to work. While they are doing their job, we then train
them on management skills. That way we get an immediate return.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                                  3
2. Dimitris Orfanidis, Production and Quality engineer, own business,
Technometal Orfanidis Sons, Greece

                            Dimitris Orfanidis is a Production and Quality
                            engineer running his own business Technometal
                            Orfanidis Sons in his native country of Greece. He
                            obtained a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical
                            Engineering and then continued with a PgDip in
                            the same subject and graduated in 1999. As an
                            international student from Greece, he explains
                            why the University of Salford appealed to him:

                             “I wanted to study in Greater Manchester as it has
                             been a pioneering region for the engineering
                             industry, and on a pragmatic note, the cost of
living in the area was affordable for my family. I considered studying at all the
Universities in Manchester and eventually chose Salford.

Whilst at Salford, I took the opportunity to contact and visit companies
relevant to my future career. I also visited a lot of mechanical engineering
exhibitions, and I was keen to gain as much knowledge as possible from
Salford University‟s practical workshops that involved turning, milling, welding
and theoretical work. Whilst studying, I worked part-time in manufacturing
workshops in England and during the summer break I did similar jobs in

I chose a career in mechanical engineering because it is part of my family
background and I liked the idea of working in the industry. Therefore, after
graduating from Salford, I immediately took over the family business as a
Production and Quality Engineer. My job is demanding as it involves
continuous research so I am always up to date with technologies, materials
and other relevant topics. I also negotiate with customers, plan future
business strategies, manage production by purchasing materials and
overseeing quality control, as well as complete the paperwork for packaging
and dispatch of products. Everyday tasks include the sourcing and servicing
of materials, machine calculations, contacting potential customers, and using
the internet. It is important that I am open-minded so that I am able to adopt
new technologies.

My advice to students who want a career in mechanical engineering is that
they have to like the industry, and have a good knowledge of maths, physics,
materials science and technology. They also have to like working in teams as
well as alone, enjoy problem solving and working under pressure. If students
want a manufacturing job in Greece, they will need a lot of courage as it‟s a
tough business! It is also essential that they be prepared to continuously study
new technologies, know how to correctly evaluate a job, be modest, confident,
polite and, most of all, they must take responsibility for their mistakes.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              4
3. Jordi Femenia Nobell, Senior Acoustic Consultant, APPLUS, Spain

In 2003, Jordi Femenia Nobell gained a first class honours degree after
completing his BSc (Hons) in Audio Technology at the University of Salford.
He now works as Senior Acoustic Consultant for APPLUS in the Barcelona
area of Spain. Jordi explains his decision to study acoustics:

“Since I was fifteen, I wanted to learn acoustics and chose to study at Salford
because I thought it was the best university in the UK that taught acoustics.
As a foreign student travelling overseas from Spain, living in another country
is always very special and challenging. I learnt to be independent and fully
responsible for all that I wanted or needed.

After graduating from Salford, it took me five months to find a job in
Barcelona. In the past six years, I have changed jobs three times always for a
better project. After working in Barcelona for a number of years, I always
wondered what would have happened if I stayed in the UK… I had some job
interviews but I wasn‟t successful. Acoustics is a very competitive career in
the UK and will be in Spain very soon!”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                               5
4. Pablo Ibarguengoytia, Research Investigator, IIE Instituto de
Investigaciones Electricas, Mexico

In 1997, Pablo Ibarguengoytia completed his PhD Any time probabilistic
sensor validation in Computer and Mathematical Science. He now works at
the Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas (IIE - Electric Research Institute),
Mexico‟s research centre dedicated to the electric and oil industries, as an
Investigator in Research and Development. Pablo explains the tasks involved
in his job:

“I develop projects that apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the area of
electricity. This involves proposing, defending, developing and testing different
AI applications. I gain immense satisfaction from obtaining results other
researchers did not expect. The downside is that the general public often
resist the new tools I have developed in computing.

I partially studied at the University of Salford because Professor Holland
organised a special in-house degree program between Salford and The
Electric Research Institute (IIE). Therefore, I studied half of my PhD in Mexico
and half in Salford. Whilst at Salford, I completed a world class high tech
project and successfully defended the ideas developed in the project. I also
increased my confidence to apply the new knowledge to almost any field.

When I left Salford I found it difficult to return to my normal environment in
Mexico, despite only spending one and a half years at the university.
However, as a newly qualified Doctor of Philosophy in Computer and
Mathematical Science, I was able to propose and develop new projects and
introduce new courses to the IIE.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              6
My advice to international students/graduates wanting a successful career in
Mexico is to always investigate how to improve the work we do and not to be
content to stand still. For non-Mexicans who would like to work here, accept
the challenge of living and working in another country. It is extremely
important that international students are aware of how different life is in a
country that is not their own, and that they learn positively from the
experience. This process will have started as a student in the UK.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             7
5. Flacia Nyamu, Freelance fashion consultant, Kenya

An international graduate from Kenya, Flacia Nyamu graduated with a BA
(Hons) in Fashion from the University of Salford in 2000. The programme
encouraged students to balance realism with individual creativity in fashion
design and styling, which gave Flacia “an opportunity to explore my talent”.
She explains her decision to study at Salford:

“I wanted to study in a university that has a close link with the garment and
textile industry. Greater Manchester has always been the hub of the textile
and garment industry, and its factories that are either still in production or
have been turned into museums provide an additional learning source.
Salford University sharpened my skill in styling and mood board
presentations, as well as giving me an experience in graphic design for the
European market. In addition, living in England was exciting because I learnt
about English culture, food and history. I also travelled to different places such
as Wales, Scotland and Liverpool.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             8
I found it easy finding employment in the development sector after studying at
The University Salford, because I had specialised in both entrepreneurship
textiles and fashion design. I discovered that development agencies wanted
someone with combined entrepreneurship, textiles and fashion skills, which is
a rare specialisation. Ordinarily, agencies have to recruit both a business
specialist and a fashion/textile specialist for one position.

I have worked in vocational institutions, government departments and non
government institutions‟ in Kenya, Malawi and Cameroon. I provided training
and consultation in garment making, textiles and entrepreneurship projects.
The experience has sharpened and developed my creative skills and ability
that I had gained at Salford. I am also a MBA graduate of ESAMI & Maastricht
business school and specialized in governance and management of micro
and small enterprises. The MBA has further enhanced my ability of analysis of
fashion, textiles and entrepreneurship global markets.

Currently, I am self-employed and based in Kenya. I train and advise creative
artists in tie-dye batik, printing and fashion design and assist entrepreneurs
who wish to start and run their own businesses. I also work with development
agencies to build and implement programmes in creative arts for micro and
small enterprises. I enjoy the creative aspect of my job; whether it is
developing a design, compiling a training programme or being involved with
partnership development. Even the challenges I face often become learning
moments or opportunities.

My advice to international students is to be decisive about the career path
they wish to pursue after graduation such as choosing whether to be self-
employed, an employer or an employee. This choice will help them decide
which skills to sharpen and who to network with in preparation for their ideal

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              9
6. Joseph Rurangwa, Freelance conference interpreter, Rwanda

In January 2005 the international Rwandan student Joseph Rurangwa
graduated with a PG Diploma in Translation and Interpretation. He is now a
professional Freelance Conference Interpreter in French/English based in
East Africa and is a member of the prestigious International Association of
Conference Interpreters or AIIC.

“I decided to become a Conference Interpreter after serving in a Translation
company as a Conference Systems Technician and realised how large the
demand was for Conference Interpreters. A couple of seasoned Conference
Interpreters advised me to change my education plans from Construction
Engineering to Languages with a focus on Interpretation and Translation.

I chose to study at Salford as alumni students I met shared with me the
University‟s excellent reputation in Translation and Interpretation and offering
a dual qualification, i.e. both as Translator and Interpreter. Completing the
Salford‟s programme developed my appreciation for excellence as a self-
reflecting professional as well as mastering a series of current translation
strategies developed by various translation experts/theorists as much as
experience developed by international bodies such as the EU.

Since leaving Salford, I have achieved AIIC membership giving me a much
appreciated recognition from colleagues in the profession as a standard
keeper in such a demanding line of work.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                            10
Budding interpreters should be mobile as much as possible, be open to new
ideas, be creative with a pen and pad, follow rules, think big as well as plan
for hard times, and be willing to make and keep friends because they come in
handy in many ways…”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                         11
7. Sabine Liu, General Manager, UBM Asia Ltd’s Taiwan Office

In 1993, as an international student from Taiwan, Sabine Liu completed her
Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme at the University of
Salford. She is now General Manager of UBM Asia Ltd‟s Taiwan Office. UBM
Asia is the leading organiser of associated print and online media exhibitions
in Asia, and the biggest commercial exhibition organiser in the two fastest
growing markets in Asia: China and India. Sabine explains her decision to
study at Salford University:

“Time and money were two major concerns. I chose Salford for its one year
MBA course and competitive tuition fee. The MBA was useful because I
acquired basic knowledge on finance and management, which complemented
my ten years experience working in international trading. For example, the
finance/accounting/marketing skills that I learnt at Salford has helped me a lot
in my current job where I draft marketing plans, estimate the annual budget
and monitor company P&L. Also, I think studying in England increased my
chances when I applied to United Business Media (UBM) because it is a UK

When I left Salford, I worked in various jobs in Taiwan. The first one was as
an overseas department manager for an alcoholic beverage importer/agent. I
then worked as an Assistant to the General Manager for a machinery
importer/agent. My third job was as an overseas sales manager for a
cosmetic package manufacturer. I‟m currently the General Manager of the
Taiwan branch office of United Business Media Asia, where I manage all
functions of the office from accounting and personnel to sales development. I

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           12
particularly enjoy the sales side of the business, but dislike the HR/Personnel
aspects of my duties.

My careers advice to international students is to be flexible, and fully
understand your interests and abilities. Then decide on a career and go for it!
If you are lucky enough to get a job, do your best to serve the company and
be willing to adapt yourself to their changes or demands.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                          13
8. Bettina Zingler, Freelance translator and interpreter, Germany

In 2005, the German international student Bettina Zingler completed an MA in
translating and Interpreting at the University of Salford. She now works
freelance as a translator and interpreter in English and Spanish. She is also a
member of the BDÜ – Germany‟s largest Association of Professional
Interpreters and Translators. Bettina explains why she chose a career in
translating and interpreting:

“I love languages, always have. Once I learnt to read, I basically read
everything I came across. I have not spent a single day without reading at
least something. In school, language-related subjects were my favourites and
I have always found language-learning easy, fun and absolutely intriguing.
When I was about to finish school and it was time to decide on a career, I saw
an advertisement for a translation college on the bus. That moment I simply
knew that this was my path, that translating was for me. This might sound silly
but it is true nevertheless.

Then, two years later, Ian Foster and Kirsty Heimerl, two members of staff
from the University of Salford, came to my college in Germany. They
introduced Salford University and the courses the School of Languages
offered and…did a very good job! It is always a plus when you have already
met some of your lecturers before you apply to a university. In the end, when
two universities accepted my application, I chose Salford because their
course had a stronger bias towards practical training.
It was a good decision because my interpreting skills improved enormously at
Salford due to much more extensive and challenging training than I‟d had in
Germany. I also found it extremely easy to find a job because one of my
lecturers at Salford established a contact with Audi Akademie in Ingolstadt,
Germany (an Audi subsidiary). His recommendation got me a placement
there. Afterwards, I was offered a full-time contract. When my contract expired
and was not extended, I decided to go freelance as a translator and

I‟m very fortunate to work in my „dream job‟ where I always learn something
new particular to translating and interpreting. It involves a wide variety of tasks
that include preparing for assignments, research, talking to and trying to find
new clients, advertising, writing offers, bills and bookkeeping. However, I
dislike all those „self-trained‟ translators who think English is an easy foreign
language to learn. Of course, they can speak it perfectly (haha). I‟ve also
come across clients who only want to work with „experienced‟ translators.
They leave the task of giving less experienced translators the chance to prove
themselves to others. All those people can really make your life miserable.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             14
My advice to anyone wanting a successful career in translating and/or
interpreting is that you should first obtain a placement, as they are a good way
to gain a foothold in the job and learn more about it. After the placement, don‟t
be afraid of going freelance because in this industry full-time jobs are rare.
Today, many companies only have small translation departments or none at
all. When you first go freelance, it might be a good idea to work part-time until
the translation business picks up. However, you should be aware that you are
committing yourself to a time-consuming career. I know many successful
translators who earn good money but they work all day, in the evening, at
weekends, and in the holiday season.

I must stress that it takes a lot of hard work to become a good translator
and/or interpreter and that the learning really never ends even after finishing
university. If you think your language skills are good after finishing school,
forget it. After translation training they will be - have to be, actually - at a
completely different level and even this high level will need increasing. You
will have to keep educating yourself and stay inquisitive for the rest of your
life, even more so than in other jobs.

Potential translators and interpreters should also be aware that you will be
working in a field that is not well respected in our world. A translator and
interpreter can have a university degree but s/he does not have to. On the
contrary, anyone can call her/himself a translator even without any proper
training. All s/he has to do is to convince his clients that s/he is good enough.
This means that you will face a lot competition from so-called „self-trained‟
translators who are not ashamed to work at extremely low rates, which further
undermines the poor image society has of our job.

I know many things I said about the translation industry sound quite negative.
However, these are aspects students should be aware of. I find it extremely
annoying that I could go on about them forever. I hope I did not shy anyone
away from a future career in this field. I did not mean to because it is a great
job and I love it.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                            15
9. Hajah Rosni Hj Yussof, Supervisory Engineer, Radio Television

In 2000, Hajah Rosni Hj Yussof graduated with a BSc in Media Technology.
She now works as an Engineer for Radio Television Brunei. Although she is
from Brunei Darussalam, Hajah Rosni explains her decision to study at the
University of Salford:

“Salford had an available broadcasting course from which I gained valuable
practical and communication skills by becoming experienced with the
equipment. My BSc is mainly relevant to my current job involving maintenance
engineering and system design, but it was also essential to obtain good marks
and experience.

My advice to current international students is to take a course that is relevant
to the career you wish to pursue. It will therefore be easier to find work you
are good at. As an engineer, it was essential that I had had previous practical
experience so as to be a good role model for employees wishing to be
promoted to my position. Therefore, teamwork and a willingness to listen to
others are desirable skills in my country.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           16
10. Juan Bautista Moran, Senior Carrier Technical Manager, Research In
Motion, Spain

Juan Bautista Moran studied for an MSc in Data Telecommunications and
Networks and graduated in 2001. He now works as a Senior Carrier Technical
Manager for Research In Motion who make the Blackberry. Juan explains his
decision to study at Salford:

“I was studying for a Physics degree at the University of Zaragoza in Spain
when I discovered that my university had an agreement with Salford to accept
Erasmus students. As a result of this discovery, I completed the final year of
my Physics degree at the University of Salford. I studied Physics because I
felt really passionate about becoming a meteorologist. However, early in my
career, I discovered that telecommunications also motivated me and it
probably had a brighter future. It was then I decided to study an MSc in Data
Telecommunications and Networks, and chose Salford because I really
enjoyed the experience of studying Physics at the University.

The MSc I obtained from the University of Salford provided me with the right
skills to start my professional career in telecommunications. This is due to the
knowledge I acquired from the course‟s more theoretical modules, and from
being given lots of practical work and lab sessions. Orange PCS Ltd in Bristol
offered me my first job halfway through my MSc but I did not start the
Engineering Graduate Scheme until after I had graduated. I was also offered
employment by two other companies around the same time. Therefore,
studying an MSc opened many opportunities for me because the moment I
included the qualification in my CV, the job offers soon came.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           17
As a result of my MSc, I have never been unemployed. In September 2003,
after completing the Engineering Graduate Scheme, I joined Vodafone UK Ltd
in Newbury, Berks and was transferred to Vodafone Spain, Madrid in April
2008. I started my current job with Research In Motion (RIM) in March 2009.

My main responsibility at RIM is to ensure that, by using a Tier 1 wireless
carrier, a product is technically acceptable for a successful launch. I usually
get involved with a product around six months before its planned launch date.
This involves key technical skills that are required to analyse and manage the
issues reported by the wireless carrier and discuss them with our
development teams. However, my job also requires soft skills such as
negotiation, communication, risk management and project planning.
I find my work rewarding, challenging and fun as it involves international travel
and meeting people from completely different cultures. Yet the workload and
pressure can be overwhelming. Also, I often find it difficult to balance my
professional and personal life.

My advice to current international students is that although you may feel
lonely being away from home, it is better to try and enjoy your experience at
Salford as much as possible. Do not be in a rush to return to your home
country, but explore the career opportunities the UK has to offer. Your
international experience will be highly valued when you return home. For
instance, a successful career in Spain is dependent on the person being
highly proficient in English. Therefore, being part of an exchange program like
Erasmus with a UK is an opportunity I highly recommend.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           18
11. Daniel Santos Reyes, Head of Postgraduate Studies, Universidad
Tecnológica de la Mixteca, Mexico

In 1999, the Mexican international student Daniel Santos Reyes completed
his PhD in Product Design. He is now Head of Postgraduate Studies at the
Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca, where he manages the university‟s
entire postgraduate community. Daniel explains why he chose to pursue an
academic career:

“I have always been very interested in academia, teaching and doing
research. I think that education is fundamental to a better future in society,
and that the key to any career is passion. Passion makes good professionals.
My passion for academia enables me to make the day-to-day decisions,
implement plans, coordinate activities, supervise, teach, conduct research
and collaborate with local businesses. It gives me huge satisfaction knowing
that I am part of the fundamental process designing the future of my region,
my state and my country. However, these goals are difficult to achieve when
there is little support from the higher levels of the university‟s administration.

I chose to study at the University of Salford because it had a researcher with
the expertise and research projects I was interested in. Whilst at Salford, I
learnt to conduct scientific research but, most importantly, I learnt to
communicate with people. Then, once I had obtained my doctorate, I found it
easy to find a job since I was part of the Mexican repatriation programme.
Also, my research subject was design for the environment which was a
hotspot at the time and still is today. So I was a kind of pioneer who was
immediately offered positions in various Mexican universities, but I took the
one located in my birthplace. It was a lectureship position at the Mixteca
University of Technology in my state, Oaxaca, Mexico. After a few months, I
was offered the position of Head of Industrial Engineering department (2001-

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             19
2009). Then, due to my achievements in the Industrial Engineering
Department, I was offered the position of Head of Postgraduate Studies
Division in early 2009. In this position, I led various teams that have designed
and implemented Masters‟ Degrees in Robotics, Fashion Design, Furniture
Design, Mathematical Modelling, Applied Computing, Advanced
Manufacturing Technology and Intelligent Systems, as well as PhDs in
Robotics, Mathematical Modelling, Applied Computing and Intelligent

If non-Mexican international students wish to work in Mexico, it is important to
speak the language and accept and understand the country‟s cultural issues.
They should also identify their passion for a particular academic field.
Otherwise, it will be very difficult for them to find a job or easy to underperform
in a particular position.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             20
12. James P. Santos, Professor, Centro Universitário CESMAC, Alagoas,

In 1992, James P. Santos completed his PhD The utilization of EIA
techniques in food and cash crop systems of Brazil at the University of
Salford. He is now Professor at Centro Universitário CESMAC, a private
university in Alagoas, Brazil.

“I chose a career in environmental sciences because I was born and grew up
in a sugar cane producing state (Alagoas), which is the second most
important sugar cane and alcohol producing state of Brazil. Sugar cane is
grown because it is both economically and environmentally beneficial for
Brazil. It is a crop I have known and worked with for a long time and it led to
me becoming an agronomist.

In my job as an environmental scientist, it is important to be dedicated,
competent and continuously involved in research. The rewards are that the
work is challenging and yields interesting results. My job is also socially
acceptable because the world needs environmental science specialists.
However, the long term results from my work raise concerns about the future
of the world‟s ecology.

I decided to study at Salford because I needed a PhD to improve my
professional background and friends‟ recommended the university. Salford
also complemented my previous experience in the USA where I took an MSc
degree and developed my teaching abilities. Living in Salford was also an
interesting experience for my family. My wife, who is a psychologist, had
amazing learning moments at the Salford College of Technology. Also, my
three children at that time (now adults) enjoyed extraordinary experiences at
Salford‟s high schools.

Since leaving the University of Salford, I terminated my academic obligations
in the Federal University of Alagoas early in 1994. From 1993 to 2004, I
taught and coordinated lessons at a school teaching in English and from
February 1998 to the present I have been a Professor of Centro Universitário

My advice to current international students is to consider the emphasis that
has been given to the world‟s ecology when planning and deciding on their
future. If International students do pursue a career in environmental sciences,
they have to be confident and well prepared. In my experience, it is common
to see people who do not contribute to the field and disregard other people‟s
good intentions and work. Therefore, it is not always easy for an
environmentalist to defend her/his point of views.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           21
13. George Natar, Trainer and Compliance Officer, Alpha Insurance Ltd,

Cypriot-born George Natar is currently a Sales force Trainer for Alpha
Insurance Ltd, based in Nicosia - Cyprus. Graduating with an MSc in
Marketing in 1996, Natar found that his time spent at Salford University
helped build his job prospects and interpersonal skills.

I chose to study at Salford as it was the only university at that time
specialising in Marketing at a postgraduate level, and was known for its
excellent reputation in computer studies. I knew that I could benefit from both
areas of expertise. Being close to Manchester was also part of the reason, as
both Manchester and Salford were great places for international students.
While I was studying for my MSc I developed relevant skills. For example, we
were required to do a number of presentations on a variety of subjects, which
provided me with the necessary techniques and skills to be able to tailor my
presentations according to the audience. Through the feedback that was
given, I was able to improve not only my technique but found that my
confidence also improved. This has served me well in my career.

Once I completed my studies, I found it very easy to find my first job as a
Trainee Adult-Trainer for a small business consulting firm in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Having lectured for over 2000 training hours in areas such as selling,

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                          22
marketing, and organisational behaviour, and also assisted small consulting
projects concerned with performance appraisals and motivation schemes, I
decided after 8 years to change my career direction. Moving to a bigger
company, I am now a Trainer and Compliance Officer for Marketing and
Business Administration within the insurance branch of Alpha Bank.

My current role entails planning, organising and implementing training
programmes, plus monitoring the compliance of the company to EU
regulation; my typical tasks are attending to training administration, setting
budgets, and evaluating external training programmes. The most gratifying
aspect to my job is receiving positive feedback from trainees; but I least like
having to juggle simultaneously lecturing and administration, as it can be
difficult to concentrate.

For those wishing to pursue a similar career to mine, the main tip is to always
try to extend your knowledge, as you will be able to engage in tasks more
effectively. This can be done by trying to be at the centre of information within
the organisation, acquiring and organising all the relevant information on a
regular basis, as it enables you to not only manage situations but also lead

In my opinion, Cyprus is in need of professionals who have specialisms in
technology, as there are many candidates for public jobs such as doctors,
hotel managers and lawyers, but not so many for hi-tech jobs.

For international students thinking about their future career, my advice is to be
motivated by what you “want to do”, and not by what you „must do‟. We are all
shapers of our future, so always follow your instincts. I also recommend giving
the priority to family and home life. I am married to Elena and have 3 children
- I believe that the right balance between work and family time can add to a
successful career, since a good career offers better family life, and a better
family life can motivate an evolving career (it is one of the things I consider as
“want to” rather than a “must do”).

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                               23
14. Panagiotis Xenos, IT Engineer, Ministry of Public Health, Greece

                                                    Greek-born Panagiotis
Xenos works as an IT engineer for the Ministry of Public Health in Greece.
Graduating with an MSc in Telecommunications and Networks in 1996,
Panayiotis says his further study made him an ideal candidate for employers.

My decision to study at Salford and not another university was largely down to
the high degree of specialism the course offered. I was also aware of the
good reputation the University had in this course, and its ability to train
students to become professionals in the telecoms industry.

Once I had completed my MSc, I applied for five different jobs, both in the UK
and Greece, and was offered a job by all five companies. My first job was with
Intracom Telecom, Greece‟s largest multinational provider of
telecommunications products, solutions and services, which involved
supporting the country‟s ATM network. I took up this job offer as the nature of
the work was a continuation of my MSc thesis, so found my studies to be
especially relevant. While I was there, I would switch between Internet
Protocol and Multiprotocol Label Switching using Cisco Equipments. After
eight years, I left to join OTEGLOBE, which is a provider of international
telecommunications wholesale services, where I worked in the design and
developing department for two years.

Currently, I‟m working in the IT department at the Ministry of Public Health in
Greece. Typical tasks for this job role are providing technical support to the
Ministry and integration solutions, and giving marketing presentations to

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           24
I‟ve always wanted to work in telecommunications as I not only find it
interesting, but it is also an ever-changing industry. Studying at Salford
University provided the necessary IP and general skills that are essential to
first secure a job and do well, but also to keep abreast with the constant

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             25
15. Rami Al-Awartani, Project Manager, Omnix International L.L.C,

                                Jordanian-born Rami Al-Awartani is employed
as a Project Manager for the Middle Eastern software company, Omnix
International. Graduating with an MBA in Business Administration in 2008,
Rami found that his Master‟s has made him stand out from the crowd in a
highly competitive job market.

“My reason to study at Salford University was a financial one: the tuitions fees
matched my financial budget at the time. Whilst studying for The Salford MBA,
I gained a lot of skills and experience in different areas such as decision
making, business analysis and strategic thinking. Moreover, the course
dramatically improved my communication and presentation skills as students
were encouraged to engage in presentations both individually and as groups
to different types of audience.

“One of the requirements of the MBA was to have a minimum of 3 years
managerial work experience, experience I‟d gained from working in the call
centre industry. As I had worked on an application from Oracle - the world's
leading supplier of information management software - called Siebel CRM, I
was a good candidate for the company I work for right now, who provide
solutions and professional services based on the Siebel Business Application.

“Despite the amount of experience I‟d gained before studying at Salford, the
MBA made me different from other job candidates in that I did not only have
managerial and business experience, but I also had an advanced
understanding of business administration. On the programme, there was a
subject called Project Management and also another one called Strategic

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                            26
Management. Both subject had an exceptional importance for me as I was
planning to pursue a career in the project management field once I‟d
completed my studies.

“Typical tasks in my job include: preparing project management
documentation, meeting with clients and conducting presentations, managing
day-to-day project activities, and managing project resources – all typical
project manager roles and responsibilities! I enjoy meeting with clients to
demonstrate the company‟s capabilities in implementing solutions, and
although it‟s the most vital aspect of my job, I least enjoy all the
documentation that is involved.

“For anybody who is thinking about working as a project manager, I‟d advise
that you not only have to be a well organised person, but you also need to
have excellent presentation, communication, interpersonal and team
leadership skills, as project management is about managing the project
resources, especially the human resources. If you don't have these skills, then
no matter what education and training you get, you will never succeed in
becoming a successful project manager.

“Also, to work for a company in Jordan, it is now paramount all candidates are
fluent in English as Arabic is no longer enough to get a professional career.

“Current international students at Salford University would be advised to
explore your job opportunities and not to rush it when planning their future. It‟s
also important to love the work you do, and if you don‟t, quit and try to get the
job you love, because if you love your work, then you will be productive, and if
you are productive then you are successful.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             27
16. Reem Akbari, Lecturer and researcher, University of Bahrain.

Bahraini-born Reem Akbari worked as a civil engineer before her current role
as a lecturer and researcher at the University of Bahrain. Graduating from the
University of Salford in 1991 with an MSc in Civil Engineering, Reem says her
Master‟s supplemented the practical experience he gained before studying at

“I‟d heard many good things about Salford University and its reputation, plus
the location was also ideal, so made the decision to study for an MSc in Civil
Engineering there. The focus of the Master‟s course was to nurture our
transport and road design skills, and to advance our understanding of
research methods, planning and monitoring, and managing skills. Once I‟d
completed my studies, I immediately began working for the Civil Aviation
Authority in Bahrain as an airport planner. After nine years, I moved to the
University of Bahrain as a researcher for Transport and Road Studies, and
was soon appointed as a lecturer in the Civil Engineering department, where I
continue to conduct research as well as teach. I found the course to be very
relevant to all my job positions.

“As there is a shortage of people with civil engineering skills in transportation
in Bahrain, the course and my previous work experience gave me a good
grounding to pursue a career in this field.

“The typical tasks in my role as a lecturer and researcher, include: teaching
and assisting students, conducting studies that are relevant to transportation,
and speaking at conferences and lectures around the country - these tend to
be the more favourable aspects to my job. Some of the drawbacks are the
administration and the rigidity at the University - which means less freedom to
conduct more research for community – and, considering our expertise, the
low wages we are paid.

“For anybody wishing to pursue a career as a civil engineer, you have to be
hard working, willing to commit to continuous study as the industry is always
evolving, and get some practical experience beforehand. As an international
student, it is necessary to further the knowledge you have about your own
country as you never know where your career may take you. Considering the
„globalisation effect‟, it is very possible you may be required to do work that
will be implemented not only domestically, but also abroad.

“Finally, I‟d like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff in the Engineering
faculty at Salford University for all the excellent technical and personal
assistance they provided during my time there.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                                28
17. Salha Abdullah, Assistant Professor, King Abdulaziz University in
Saudi Arabia

Malaysian Salha Abdullah is an Assistant Professor at the King Abdulaziz
University in Saudia Arabia. Once graduating from the University of Salford
with a BSc in Quantity Surveying, Salha furthered her studies at the University
and received an MSc in Information Technology in 1994.

“I chose to study my undergraduate course in Quantity Surveying at Salford
University as it was offered on a sandwich mode of attendance, which allowed
my to gain valuable work experience as part of my studies. During my work
placement at a firm in Manchester, I was exposed to a lot of IT, and it was
because of this I decided to do an MSc in Information Technology.

“When I left Salford in 1994, the economy was good so I found it easy to find
a job as they were abundant. Since leaving, I‟ve worked as a quantity
surveyor in Malaysia, joined Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia as a lecturer,
then undertook a PhD at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, and through this was
promoted to the role as Assistant Professor. It was this role that provided me
with the necessary skills to move with my husband to Saudi Arabia and work
at the King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as Assistant
Professor. Working in the Information System Department, the skills I learnt
through my MSc are relevant to most aspects of my job role.

“Working in academia allows me the freedom to do both research and
teaching, and it is the task of supervising undergraduate and postgraduate
students' projects and thesis that I most relish. Other aspects to my role
include, giving lectures, conducting research, some administrative tasks for
improving teaching process, and applying grants for research. Having to liaise
with industry is my less favourable task as Assistant Professor.

“Studying at Salford provided me with the skills to think independently and „out
of the box‟, and changing the school mentality to what is required at university
level. Being in the reverse situation, I appreciate the difficulty this entails and
am finding it a challenge to get my current students to work independently etc.

“For anybody that wishes to work in academia, they must have a good first
degree results and be willing to continue their study for a master‟s degree and
PhD degree. Most importantly of all, they should have a passion for teaching
and research in their chosen subjects. As Jeffery Archer wrote: "A fool leaves
the university with a degree, a wise man with enough knowledge to face
whatever challenges thrown at him."”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             29
18. Sebastian Beyh, Head of Free Space Optics Division, Lunasat,

Sebastien Beyh works in the telecommunications industry as the Head of
Free Space Optics Division within Lunasat . He stayed in contact with the
industry while conducting his PhD research, which he completed in the School
of Built Environment in 2004. He is now based in the Lebanon.

I chose to undertake a PhD at Salford University after recommendations from
several trusted research and professional sources. Alongside this, I did my
own personal research comparing a number of universities using a number of
factors, including: research standing, support systems, publications,
infrastructures, social environment, and costs. I found Salford to be the best
overall choice.

My PhD provided me with a number of skills, including: research,
methodologies, time management, and discipline. I‟ve found what I studied to
be very relevant to the general management tasks I perform in my current

I‟ve always been interested in telecommunications, and in modern life,
telecommunications brings more excitement to people than ever before.
Although nothing is perfect, I enjoy every aspect of my job, where progression
is a constant challenge for which I‟m training and learning on a daily-basis.

During my PhD, I always maintained contact with the telecommunications
industry by posting my CV on several specialised jobsites, networking with my
ex-colleagues and employers. I constantly updated my CV to reflect my
current situation, and this would be definitely something I would recommend
as it made it easier to get back into business in no time after my PhD. I would
advise current PhD students to undertake a lot of research about the
industry/sector they are interested in; and never wait until the end of their PhD
to look for an appropriate job. View your PhD as one part of your career path

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                            30
helping you to get where you want to be. Get practice in applying for jobs as a
way to check your CV and experience are adequate in the way they are
presented etc., even if you aren‟t looking for a job straight away.

The PhD process doesn‟t end at your graduation, on the contrary, it all starts
where the school research ends since everyday business life challenges will
take you back to a new dimension of continuous research and new knowledge
that require a strong commitment and adaptability to bring outstanding

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                          31
19. Ryoko Sasamoto, Lecturer in Japanese, Manchester Metropolitan

Having studied for a BA and MPhil in Japan, Ryoko studied for a PhD at
Salford which brought together interests in theoretical linguistics and the
Japanese language. She chose Salford as she wanted to be supervised by
Professor Diane Blakemore who is a leading researcher in her chosen area.
She finished her PhD in 2007 and now lectures at Manchester Metropolitan

“My current post involves teaching linguistics and Japanese, which are both
closely related to my research interests in theoretical linguistics and the
Japanese language. Whilst studying towards my PhD in linguistics I started
teaching Japanese part time which actually helped my understanding of the
language as well as giving me paid work experience! Currently I now get to
divide my time between teaching and research.

During my PhD I was supported brilliantly by my supervisor; I learnt how to
look for relevant materials, how to construct my argument and most
importantly, how to be succinct and clear. On a practical level, the teaching
skills, research methods and IT skills I gained during my PhD have all come in
incredibly useful. The support from my supervisor didn‟t end with my PhD -
she is still supporting me and I can always ask for her advice.

I found it incredibly difficult to find a full-time post after my PhD, but I got one
eventually; it was relatively easy to find a part-time teaching job. I would urge
anyone to network and collaborate not only with colleagues from your
university but all with people with a similar interest from outside the university
network. This will not only strengthen your research profile but also help you
to get your face known in the area.

My study at Salford has been incredibly relevant to my job. My job so far has
involved: teaching; building up learning resources; getting involved with the
setting up of a new language laboratory; working as a coordinator for student
support sessions for non-European languages; and I look forward to much
more! I have recently started to do more research work and work in the
expansion/development of Japanese. With regards to the future, I would like
to progress to a more stable and research-orientated post, but until then I am
very happy with what I do!”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                               32
20. Gang Cheol Yun, Project Manager for HanmiParsons in Seoul, South

Gang Cheol Yun completed his PhD in the School of Built Environment in
2008 and now works in the Construction industry as a Project Manager for
HanmiParsons in Seoul

“I chose to come to Salford as it has one of the best Construction and Project
Management Schools in the UK. I enjoy working in the Construction industry
and specifically around project-based knowledge management.

I found it fairly easy to find a job after my PhD as the specialist knowledge I
gained from my PhD thesis about “project-based knowledge mapping and
management” is a vital issue for many companies, not just in the Construction
industry. My knowledge has made me highly valued by my employer. My PhD
studies are very directly related to what I do now.

My role as a senior manager of the project management knowledge team is to
identify, create, generate, store, share, and make useful knowledge for
various projects that our company is involved in. I enjoy the creation and
generation of new knowledge for the Construction industry. I think I have a
good basis to progress my career very well.

I gained a tremendous amount from my PhD: research methodology; risk
management; time management; a global outlook; and a capability with
regard to managing risk and problem-solving. My advice to current PhD
students is to keep focussed on what your research is and don‟t put off writing
your thesis! Make sure you have good communication with your supervisor
and your peers and you may be able to finish earlier than you anticipated.

For those who are interested in working in the Construction industry in Korea
there is a lot of scope. I also think there is a lot of potential for big name

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                          33
Korean companies such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG to work more closely
with the University of Salford for mutual benefit. I would like to see this

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                       34
21. Zolomphi Nkowani, Lecturer in Law, UCLAN

Malawian national Zolomphi is currently a lecturer in Law at the University of
Central Lancashire; he secured his job in his 3rd year of his PhD while he was
writing up. He completed his PhD in 2006. He is an active researcher in his

“I found my job fairly easily in my third year. My advice to current PhD
students is to try to maximise your employability. You can do this by firstly
finding your niche area. Try to make sure this is field which is in demand. As
you progress through your PhD, begin to present some of your work in
refereed journals as this will expose you and employers will notice you. It
works. If you are not doing any teaching hours, ask your supervisor if you can
get some as this experience will count towards your skills and experience
when entering the job market.

I gained a lot of transferable skills during my PhD including research,
teaching, IT, communication, presentation, writing, negotiation, teamwork,
time management, project design, interpersonal skills, adaptability and
flexibility. So a lot!

I am confident that a PhD opens a whole world of opportunities and
possibilities but you do need to be proactive in taking these opportunities. In
the longer term, with a PhD, you are a specialist in your area and will be
sought after for consultancies and positions of leadership. In the short term,
immediately after obtaining your doctorate, work on building your career and a
postdoctoral position will be a good launch pad - I believe the key is to find
and stay within it!”

I am very positive about my PhD experience at Salford. I found Salford to be a
modern, dynamic University with a global perspective that is locally relevant. It
has excellent research facilities and motivated and helpful staff, both
academic and administrative. All of these factors made my doctoral work fun
to get through and the reason why I rate and chose Salford. I do have a
passion for my academic field in general which helped to keep me motivated
through difficult times during my PhD and has also been important in being
able to progress in my career.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           35
22. Sophie Parron, NGO administrator, Terre des Hommes, France

Photo taken by Sophie in the field in Pakistan in 2007/2008; taken in
Peshawar in one of the outreach centres for children run by Terre des
Hommes‟ local partner FLOWERS

French-born Sohpie Parron works as an administrator for the international
organisation Terre des Hommes. Graduating with a BA in Modern Languages
in 1997, Sophie has worked for a number of NGOs around the world and
found that studying at Salford University was a good stepping stone to
working on the international stage.

“I was interested in the Modern Languages course at Salford University as I
was keen on studying Arabic and taking a placement abroad as part of my
studies. What‟s more, I was attracted by the fact that it is only a small campus
so there are more opportunities to get to know other people from not only
within the Languages faculty but also those who are studying other courses.

After I graduated in 1997, I worked as a French teacher in Spain for one year
before studying for a Master‟s in International Relations at the University of
New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Once completed, I got my first field
mission in 2001 with an NGO, the Peace Brigades International (Human
Rights) in Colombia where I was based in the north-west region. My main
tasks involved administration and finance, small logistics, and accompanying
human rights defenders and advocates. From 2003 to 2004, I worked for PBI
in Mexico and my tasks were the same as in Colombia. A year later, I
undertook some training by the French Red Cross in order to become a field
delegate. In July 2005 I was posted in N'djamena, Chad, as administrator of
the mission whereby I was working on the mission financial and logistical
aspects. After staying in Chad for a year, in 2006 I had another mission, as
administrator, with the French Red Cross in Haiti for seven months. In April
2007 I was recruited by Terre des Hommes, a Swiss NGO, working in the
area of child protection and rights as administrator for the mission in

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           36
Afghanistan. I stayed in field for 15 months before moving to a position in
Terre des Hommes head office as HQ Administrator for Afghanistan, Morroco
& Indonesia.

Working for an international organisation like Terre des Hommes is the ideal
opportunity for me. When I completed my Master‟s I wanted to combine my
languages degree with my MA in International Relations and apply it to „useful
work‟, i.e. to a career in which I could help the others and contribute, at least a
little bit, to the improvement of the other people's lives. Studying at Salford
University was fundamental to this as I was able to study in a multicultural
environment and was encouraged to work as part of a team. Also, as the
essays were written in English, my proficiency in English dramatically
improved. Being able to speak different languages is an important
requirement to getting a position in an NGO, and being able to do so was a
vital aspect in securing my first position.

My daily tasks in my current job role involve checking of the monthly accounts
for the Terre des Hommes delegation in Afghanistan, Morocco & Indonesia,
which includes monitoring the project and donor contracts; training the local
administrator according to the administration procedure and how to upgrade
the accounting software; overseeing and applying budgets, and; undertaking
audit follow-ups. Going on field visits is the most favourable part of my job as
it reinforces the link between the organisation‟s HQ and its field office, so
provides strong motivation. The preparation of the budget can be a hard task,
as several elements have to be taken into consideration, and HQ and the field
offices don't always have the same priorities of what is important.

For anybody wanting to work within my line of work you have to have a strong
motivation to help others and disregard the salary aspect. Of course,
languages are always good assets, but nowadays you need to have some
specific skills, such as finance, administration, logistics, water and sanitation,
management, and so on. It is useful to do an internship with an organisation
to see how it works and then decide whether or not this is what you want.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             37
23. Diedrerik van de Scheur, Strategic Buyer, Philips Consumer
Lifestyle, Netherlands

                                 Dutch-born Dieter van de Scheur is a
Strategic Buyer for Philips Consumer Lifestyle. Graduating with an MSc in
Purchasing and Logistics Management in 2001, Diedrerik found that the multi-
cultural environment at Salford University not only enhanced his social skills,
but has also proved to be useful when forging relationships within
international business.

When considering which universities to apply to, I knew I wanted to study
Purchasing and Logistics Management, and at the time, Salford University
was only one of a few universities offering a good and comprehensive course.
While I was investigating my options, I attended the Study Fair in Utrecht in
the Netherlands and it was here I met with a representative from Salford, who
answered any queries I had and provided me with useful information. After
exploring this further, I made the decision to study at Salford.

Once I graduated I 2001, I found it quite easy to get a job in a purchasing role,
which was at Philips Lighting. Within a year I moved to a buyer position at
another Philips Lighting site, with the responsibility for my own purchasing
spend, which quickly built my experience. After a while though, I began to look
for new opportunities as I no longer found it to be challenging. After working at
Philips within their Lighting Division for five and a half years, I moved to
Philips Consumer Lifestyle in January 2007 for a new opportunity. In May
2008 I moved to another company in a much broader managerial role, where I
had seven direct reports over two different departments, Supply Chain and
Engineering. This was a good experience as it provided a change in scenery
and different methods of working, but I soon found I wasn‟t enjoying myself
within this company and made the decision to move back to Philips, where I
started my current role as Strategic Buyer in January 2010.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           38
Typical tasks within this job involve undertaking commodity strategy
development, negotiating prices, investigating costing down opportunities,
supplier selection, aligning commodity spend across the business with other
buyers and, looking for opportunities to simplify and standardise the global
supply base. Aspects of the job I most enjoy are being able influence the
bottom line results of the organisation, working with bright people, and
realising big cost down opportunities. I also enjoy travelling to parts of the
world I wouldn‟t otherwise get a chance to visit. The least favourable aspects
involve working with complacent colleagues who slow down progress in
projects, because they do not see it as a priority, and long release times for
alternative products, which can bring big cost reductions.

Initially, I chose this particular career as my dad also had a career in this field
and I always thought it was nice how he was often travelling around and
seeing different places. I also like the fact that working in a Supply Chain
Management environment brings you in contact with so many aspects of the
business, as well as people from all different departments, which adds a lot to
your overall experience. Furthermore, SCM is quite a generic function, which
is present in every company and organisation so you are not limiting your job
possibilities to certain specialised industries or niche markets. This brings
much bigger job opportunities, which means that even in poor economic times
you will not have to worry about your job security since you will be able to find
something else quite quickly if necessary.

Deciding to study at Salford University is a decision I do not regret as I gained
a number of relevant skills and experiences. The course itself provided a solid
basis for working in the SCM field, and although my English was good before
arriving in the UK, studying at Salford advanced it further. Apart from the
academic skills, I found my social skills improved as I was interacting a lot
with classmates from different countries and cultures from all over the world.
Also, as you do not have your friends from back home around, you need to
create and work on new relationships. I found I became more self-reliant not
only from a social point of view, but also from a financial one.

For those wishing to pursue a career similar to mine, I would advise you to do
an MSc that involves SCM as a solid theoretical basis in this is vital. Also, be
eager to grow your working experience quickly, and force yourself to look for
and ask for new challenges when you find your current role does not meet
your requirements anymore. This involves not becoming complacent when
looking for new opportunities; try to actively look for them. No matter what you
do, always treat people with respect and be friendly and easy to work with,
regardless of which layers of the organisation they work in.

In general though, I‟d advise those current international students planning
their future to not rigidly stick to the area they‟d like to work in, but to also
consider the availability of jobs in this particular area. They may not get their
ideal job straight away, but other available opportunities may lead to it.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             39
24. Xia Jing, Post Doctoral Researcher in Health Informatics National
Institutes of Health, United States

Chinese-born Xia Jing completed her PhD in Health Informatics in 2010 at
Salford and is currently a Post Doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of
Health in the United States. Her current role builds on the subject of her PhD.

Xia chose to do her PhD at Salford due to the close connection of her
research interests with staff at the University, Prof. Stephen Kay, Dr. Nicholas
Hardiker and Mr. Tom Marley. Prior to coming to Salford, she had a long-
standing interest in Health Informatics.

“I‟ve always had a personal interest in the medicine and health field, and
wanted my research in health informatics to contribute to it. Before arriving at
Salford, I‟d taken my Bachelor‟s degree in Medicine at the China Medical
University, and after graduating in 1997 became the editor at the Journal of
Peking University (Health Sciences). This is a scientific journal focuses on
basic and clinical medicine research. My role included contributing critical
ideas to reports about analysing and interpreting data in Chinese Journal
Citation Reports. I also acted as an Executive Editor for three issues each
year, and in the five years I spent there I edited more than 500 biomedical
academic papers, and participated in organising the annual National Training
for Biomedical Periodical Editors hosted by China Scientific Periodical Editors
Association from 1997 to 2001.

In December 2002, I joined the Laboratory of Biomedical Informatics in Peking
University Health Science Centre as an Assistant Researcher whereby I
established the Directory of Biomedical Databases. This included the
selection of databases, designing of the web pages, construction of the
database, and designing an evaluation system for the indexed databases.
During the two years spent there, I participated in the design and updated the
SARS web page, and was involved in the project „China Biomedicine:
Marching Toward the World‟. This involved creating the project‟s proposal,
retrieval strategy establishment, literature data analysis and interpretation. In

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           40
2004, I left China to come to the UK to study for a PhD in the field of Health

My decision to study at the University of Salford was motivated by the great
reputation my supervisors have in my area of research. I was also attracted
by the University‟s offer of possible financial support. My PhD research is to
bring molecular genetic information into a simulated clinical environment. As
part of my research, I‟ve carried out a systematic literature review on
molecular genetic information in EHR system, I‟ve also constructed an
ontology-based knowledge base model – OntoKBCF, and built a continuity
care record (CCR) based EHR system prototype, and to connect the
knowledge base and EHR prototype to display molecular genetic information
via the EHR. The least favourable aspect to the research is being stuck at
some point as the problem cannot be solved by a perfect solution– this can be
very frustrating.

Being a PhD candidate at Salford gave me the opportunity to attend a number
of University-sponsored conferences, which I‟ve also had the chance to
present at on a number of occasions but also find it gives me the chance to
meet and share my research experiences with other peers. I‟ve found the
research skills have been sharpened somewhat in the five years spent here,
particularly my writing and presentation skills. In Jan this year, I submitted my
thesis to the University, and started the new training as a Post Doctor fellow in
the same field in NIH.

For those wanting a career similar to mine, I‟d advise you to work hard to
make yourself stronger and more knowledgeable. Also hone your
presentation skills and communicate well with others about your research.
Finally, be prepared to take chances and face challenges as this field is full of
new findings. Working in the US is a great opportunity for international
students as it is less discriminatory to foreigners – “the point is to have
something useful and valuable to offer.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              41
25. Mariusz Andreasik, Product Improvement Specialist, at Smart
Education Limited, Poland

                            Polish-born Mariusz Andreasik is a Product
Improvement Specialist at Smart Education Limited. Graduating in 2010 with
an MSc in Project Management, Mariusz also studied at the University of
Salford for a BSc in Business Management with International Business

“The main reason I chose to study at Salford was because of its close links to
Manchester, which is reachable by bus within 10 minutes. While doing my
studies, I was involved in Student Union activities as Student Liaison
Representative, which was a great way to gain confidence as it involved
speaking with a number of high ranked people. Then as part of the SIFE
(Students in Free Enterprise) Salford Society, I was Vice President, Project
Leader and Team member; it was here that I learnt how to organise people,
time and projects. This also taught me to be responsible and cautious when
delegating tasks to others, that supervision and mentoring is key the to

Towards the end of my MSc, I began to update my profile on all the business
networking sites, and job search sites. I also registered with many job
agencies and attended a couple of tradeshows as a way to meet those in
business. My efforts paid off when, after two months, I received a number of
job offers, and out of these, I chose the most challenging. I‟ve been working
for Smart Education Limited for six months now, and during this time have
been promoted from Junior Specialist to Specialist. My studies and the
experience I gained from my extra curricular activities at Salford University
have been extremely relevant in this position, as I‟m often required to meet
with customers and present marketing campaigns. My typical tasks are
generating sales leads, and providing sound a customer service, and although
I enjoy meeting customers, I least like completing a customer relationship
management and business plans, and writing reports.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                         42
For those wishing to pursue a career in project management, one needs to
have a wide variety of skills, which should be gained during your studies.
Participating in University competitions like FLUX or SIFE projects, extra
workshops, and volunteering, all demonstrates to employers that you are
passionate and committed to about your future career. If you want to work in
Poland, the key to success is being entrepreneurial and making the most of a

When I was looking for a job I looked up the companies and products I liked
and believed in, then searched for a job in those businesses or areas. I‟d
advise all international students who are planning their future careers to invest
time in additional courses, projects, and volunteering as it‟s a great way to
gain experience and creates unbelievable opportunities which can change
your life.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           43
26. Tiroyamodimo Mogotlhwane, Lecturer, University of Botswana

Botswana-born Tiroyamodimo Mogotlhwane is a Lecturer at the University of
Botswana. He Studied for his PhD at the University of Salford‟s School of Built
Environment, Tiroyamodimo returned to his teaching post once he‟d gained
the PhD necessary to become a lecturer.

“I decided to take my PhD at Salford University as I had already done my MSc
studies at the university, and was happy with the experience I‟d had. Once I
received my Doctorate in 2009, I returned to my previous job at the University
of Botswana with the qualifications needed to become a lecturer.

Whilst at Salford, we were encouraged to work as part of a team, to learn
independently, and how to best use research methods, which are all vital
skills when working in academia. My typical tasks involve teaching and
providing support to students, undertaking research, and providing service to
the community. The most favourable aspect to my job is meeting new
students every semester, and contributing to their learning, however the
administration side, such as registering the students, is my least favourable

To be a successful lecturer, it is important to be focussed and constant within
your particular specialism, even when it seems impossible, as there is nearly
always a solution. I advise my students to make the most of the support
facilities at the university, as they are there to maximise your learning and
provide many of the tools needed for a successful future career. “

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                          44
27. Xiang Li, Lecturer in Supply chain and logistics, Salford University

Xiang Li is from China. In 2004, she graduated with an MSc in Purchasing and
Logistics at the University of Salford, and then continued to study for a PhD in Supply
Chain Management that is due to be submitted in July, 2010. Xiang is also a Lecturer
in Purchasing, Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the Salford Business

“I chose to study at Salford because it was the first university that replied to my
application 9 years ago for the Foundation Programme. I have been at Salford ever
since, where I have managed to obtain and enhance the following skills:
communication, presentation, how to engage an audience, opportunity awareness,
managing teams with mixed cultural backgrounds, marketing, operations and team

Getting a job is quite difficult. I understand there is a high level of competition for
work in the UK, not only for international candidates but also for the local ones too.
Without my MSc, PhD study and other relevant professional qualifications, I would
never have had the chance to compete for the job I have now.

While studying for my PhD at Salford, I had the chance to work for the Business
School as a part-time marketing and recruitment assistant. I then became the
University‟s Student Ambassador. Additionally, I worked as a part-time lecturer at the
Business School until I became Project Manager for the University‟s British Council
funded Prime Minister‟s Initiative‟s 2 project. With the experience of managing the
first PMI2 project, I became the project leader of the next one. Then, in October
2009, I was appointed as a Lecturer in the Business School, after which I
successfully applied for Faculty funding to establish a Sino-UK joint centre in
Purchasing, Logistics and Supply Chain.

Apart from teaching, managing the aforementioned projects, arranging three
international events for the PMI2 in China and at Salford, and continuing my own

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                                       45
research, I‟m working with colleagues to set up a study centre, which will be
accredited by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). The
proposed study centre will be the only CIPS centre based in a North West University.
I am also collaborating with the Emerald Publishing Group in order to launch a new
journal or book series at Salford, and working with the Chinese Teaching Committee
of Higher Education in Logistics, at the Ministry of China, to arrange a Sino-UK
Student competition in Purchasing, Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Students will be given real projects from the industry and will be required to analyse
and provide solutions to problems.

I have chosen my particular career because I enjoy teaching and researching. The
job of Lecturer has also given me great opportunities for self development, and I
enjoy sharing my experience with people who have a similar understanding or
background in my subject area. I appreciate the fact that my job at the University of
Salford provides me with an opportunity to work with academics, students and
professionals. I also enjoy getting good people together and working in a globalised

In order to pursue the career I‟m in, individuals should never waste a chance for self-
development and should always bring/offer an unique contribution to an
organisation‟s strategic plan. They should also recognise the strength of their
international background, and not to hesitate when getting involved with university

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                                  46
28. Maysoon Zahir, Associate Professor, University of Damascus

Maysoon Zahri is an international graduate from Syria who graduated in 1990
with her PhD Metaphor and translation in Contrastive Linguistics. She is
currently the Associate Professor at the State University of Damascus where
she teaches translation and interpretation of English/Arabic/English
( Maysoon explains how
she decided on his particular career:

“It started as a hobby and then became my profession because I enjoy
translating, interpreting and interacting with students. Before travelling to
Salford, I was designated to study Translation and the Theory of Translation
at the University of Damascus. However, I wanted to study Contrastive
Linguistics in English/Arabic, a subject Salford University is renowned for.

Whilst at Salford, I gained valuable skills in English, translation, interpreting,
contrastive linguistics and media terminology. Additionally, during lunchtime
courses, I learnt basic computer skills. I also gained experience teaching
modern standard Arabic to non native speakers.

After completing my PhD, I gained immediate employment at Damascus
University as a Lecturer in Arabic/English translation. From 1994-1996, I was
translator and interpreter at Syrian Television Channel Two. I then worked at
the Irbid Private University Jordan (2000-2003), and Unaiza Girls college
Saudi Arabia (1999- 2000). I am currently busy with various programmes at
the University of Damascus. These programmes include translating English
into Arabic, and teaching translation and interpreting in undergraduate,
postgraduate and the Open Learning programmes. I also teach workshops,
design computerised exams for undergraduates, conduct postgraduate oral
exams, and marking exam and seminar papers. When I‟m not involved with
student learning, I conduct research in my specialist area. I enjoy teaching,
interpreting, writing and research, though I dislike marking papers. However,
one of my notable achievements was teaching translation into English on the
Flagship programme of Arabic for non native speakers in 2008.

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                                  47
My tips to current international students interested in a career like mine are
that they need to be fluent in standard Arabic and English, preferably with
French too. They will also require computer and writing skills and media and
United Nations jargon.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              48
29. Mary Koh, Secretary, Adecco, Singapore

Singaporean Mary Koh currently works as a Secretary for the recruitment
company, Adecco. Mary graduated from the University of Salford in 2001 with
a BSc in Business Management and has found the degree to be useful in her
current job role.

“I decided to go to Salford University after a number of recommendations from
friends who had studied there. Studying at the University encouraged me to
think independently and positively when approaching different situations in
order to get the best possible outcome – an approach that has proved to be
very useful in my job.

“The recent economic crisis made it somewhat difficult for me to find a job and
a position I knew would suit my qualifications, but by remaining positive and
going through a job agency, I was soon accepted for the role as Secretary at

“My main tasks are administrative and secretarial, and have used a number of
skills gained through my degree, such as people management and
organisational behaviour, to optimise my role in a company that specialises in
recruitment. My job is also providing me with many practical skills and
experiences that complement and further those gained through my degree.

“At the moment, the job market may seem bleak but I‟d recommend current
international students to remain positive and be active when thinking about
their future. Having the international perspective of studying overseas really
helps in the job market.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              49
30. Hussein Hijazi, PhD researcher, University of Nottingham

Lebanon-born Hussein Jijazi graduated from Salford University in 2008 with
an MSc in Molecular Parasitology. Currently, Hussein is a PhD student at the
University of Nottingham.

“I decided to study for my MSc at the University of Salford as I was attracted
to the benefits it offered, such as the collaboration between the Salford,
Manchester, and Keele University. The overall structure and level of expertise
the course offered was what I was looking for. While I was still at Salford my
passion for research and academia was reinforced, and it was during my
studies I began to apply for a PhD. This led to me being offered a place by the
University of Nottingham.

Living and studying at the University encouraged me to apply critical and
scientific thinking, which was also tempered with excellent programme
supervision. Fundraising also formed a vital aspect to the course, and was
especially useful in securing funding for my PhD. Above all though, I greatly
admire the British approach and tolerance towards science – learning within a
supportive environment is critical to the success and applicability of scientific

Finding a suitable PhD was relatively easy so long as I had the necessary
funding for it, which came from the Al-Tajir Trust in Lebanon. Daily typical
tasks involve undertaking a lot of research, lab work, and reading and writing
scientific papers. Generally I like the challenge it provides, however, it can be
disappointing at times, especially when there is no positive results.

Those considering a PhD, I would advise you to ensure there is a good
source of funding available, as this is vital for all would-be PhD students.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                             50
31. Michelle Paz, Project co-ordinator, Student Life, University of Salford

Michelle Paz is a Brazilian living in England. She graduated in 2008 with a BA
(Hons) in Media and Performance from the University of Salford, and now
works at the university as Project Coordinator. Michelle explains her decision
to study at Salford University:

“I‟ve always wanted to be an actress and Salford offered the right course. It
was also the ideal location as I was living in Liverpool, and I didn‟t want to
move too far from the friends I‟d made. However, my career has changed
paths since leaving university because, despite my ambition to be an actress,
I was initially looking for something that I could do well and would be
interesting, and pay off my student debts. Also, I was already working at
Salford University in a temporary contract with an external agent, which led to
my current job as Project Coordinator with the Student Life directorate.

Although I didn‟t have any problems finding a job in the UK both before and
after graduation, finding a good job with a good salary is harder. I‟ve known
English friends who‟ve struggled to get a good job, and I believe that my
networking skills and experience in my temporary job opened the doors to my
current position. In fact, I think that my media and performance degree has
given me important transferable skills that I have used in my current job such
as enabling me to plan events and deal with students.

The typical tasks in my job are planning, preparing and delivering events;
initiating fresh ideas and coordinating and developing small projects. I enjoy
the face to face contact with students and staff. However, my job can be

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              51
unpredictable. Sometimes I have ten things to do in one day and other days
hardly anything.

My advice to current international students is to do volunteer and part time
work, do extra courses, network whenever possible and make a plan of action
detailing the necessary steps to achieve your goals. If applying for jobs in the
UK, learn about job application protocols; when filling in an application form,
try to match the job description to your skills and let a friend, colleague or
careers adviser check through it before sending it off. Even do research on
the company you are applying for in preparation for the job interview. Going to
interviews, writing applications or a CV is also necessary for building up your
confidence as well as your and interpersonal skills and make you better
prepared for eventually succeeding in landing a job.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                           52
32. Nauman Noor, Principal, Diamond Management Consultants, USA

Nauman Noor is a Canadian living in the United States. In 1993, he graduated
with a BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering from the University of Salford. He is
now Principal at Diamond Management & Technology Consultants, which is a
premier management consulting firm that contributes to solving clients‟
imperatives through strategy and providing IT and process solutions through
diligent execution. Nauman explains his decision to study at Salford:

“At the time, the university was renowned for a well balanced program in Civil
Engineering that provided a solid grounding in foundation skills and strong ties
to industry. That sense of pragmatism was borne in the course‟s second and
third year. To date, I feel that solid grounding has allowed me to succeed in
my career even though what I do now is quite different from the degree I
received from Salford.

The relevant skills and experiences I gained from my Civil Engineering degree
are an understanding of the different perspectives that a multi-cultural and
international community of students fostered; strong grounding in core skills
such as mathematics and problem solving; ability to see the problem being
solved in the classroom and the compromises necessary for its practical
implementation in the field. My experience to date has also meant I realize
that learning never ends and success requires continually reinventing oneself
to ensure that your skills are still relevant in the contemporary job market.

After graduating from Salford, I did not find it difficult to find a job even though
I pursued postgraduate education. I got my Masters in Civil Engineering
(specializing in Structural Engineering) from the University of Toronto. I then
completed the coursework and research, though did not defend thesis for a
PhD, at the University of Alberta. After my postgraduate education, I changed
careers and joined a large telecommunications carrier (TELUS) as a network
analyst. I then joined eLoyalty, a boutique consulting firm based in Chicago
(US) specializing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). As a senior
consultant, I implemented various packages in support of contact center
strategies for household names in the financial and insurance markets.
At Arthur Andersen LLP, I was on the national team as a Manager,
responsible for implementing integration enabling solutions from vendors such

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                              53
as TIBCO, webMethods (now Software AG) and IBM. As a freelance
consultant to corporations including McDonald‟s and Citigroup, I helped solve
their workforce management. As an IT architect, I provided technology
support for compliance and regulatory matters at USAA – a diversified
financial services provider of choice to the US military and their dependents.
Currently, I am a Principal at Diamond Management & Technology
The less favourable part of my job is the continuous travel requires active
management of one‟s wellness and well being which unattended can wear
people down after a few years. In addition, extra effort is needed to balance
work with home life. Finally, difficult personalities encountered require ample
reserves of patience and humility.

The rewards are being able to interact with C-suite executives and shape the
course of events that large Fortune 100 companies follow. It is not unusual for
the efforts to make the headlines. In recent years, Diamond has been
responsible for the introduction of new consumer products, innovation in
financial services, as well as defining the strategies for some of the largest US

I chose my particular career because, towards the late 1990s, I realized that
the use of technology is going to be the essential business product. Being part
of that revolution was something that I very much wanted to be involved in.
Although my Civil Engineering degree was not directly relevant to my eventual
career, I always emphasized to employers that it was the strong rigour and
emphasis on results driven outcomes at Salford that helped my success.
My advice to current international students is to start understanding the
market right now. Asia is the place to head for as it offers more job
opportunities than the developed world as their culture is more accepting of
risk taking. This is especially important as the start of your career is the right
time for trying new things. Also, look for work in a growing industry because it
offers opportunities for rapid advancement. In some markets such as China,
that tends to be financial services (banking and wealth management), while in
the former Soviet Republics insurance market is growing rapidly. Most
students focus on gaining the necessary skills for their chosen career but
always remember to keep it in the context of the industry and market. So if
your chosen industry is insurance, the sweet spot is to gain the skills
necessary to be an actuary.”

AGCAS/PMI2 project June 2010, University of Salford                            54

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